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First 100 days EDITORIAL 10/06/2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

First 100 days

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Noynoy Aquino can dismiss his non-performance in his first 100 days in Malacañang — that gave him barely passing marks — as a non-issue. But the reality of it all is, it is during the first 100 days of his presidency wherein he is judged. And unfortunately for him and his administration, they have been found wanting by the Filipino public.

Yet Noynoy could have done a lot, with his political capital in abundance then. He could have taken a leaf from US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who electrified America and gave its people hope in his first 100 days — and to think that Roosevelt rose to power during the time of the Great Depression.

Roosevelt’s first day in office, it has been recorded, was to call Congress to a special session, and directed a series of legislative measures, among them, bills that created jobs, which were needed during the Depression.
By the time his 100 days were over, all the bills had been enacted, and his government, remembered for his “New Deal” was off and running..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101006com1.html

Past catching up on them FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 10/06/2010

Past catching up on them

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
Impeachment is a congressional political tool that is feared by constitutional officers, until of course Gloria Arroyo came into the picture and, with the aid of her allies in Congress — which included Sen. Franklin Drilon and then Speaker Jose de Venecia, as well as the Supreme Court (SC) justices — made it an annual inoculation against the impeachment virus.

Then, the required number of congressmen to send the impeachment complaint against then SC Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. to the Senate was met, but this was thwarted by the Speaker, as well as then Senate President Drilon, then a Gloria ally, who made it clear that the Senate would not accept the impeachment complaint and instead brought the issue up to the high court to decide. This was also when a status quo ante order on Davide’s impeachment was issued.

Not surprisingly, the high court came up with a ruling on the so-called start of the initiation proceedings, which it said comes when the first impeachment complaint is filed, which made it easy for a constitutional officer to evade impeachment via a bogus complaint. At the same time, the House allies of Gloria rejected consolidating another impeachment complaint with the first complaint, which is now the issue on the case brought before the high court by Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez.

It is to be noted that the House allies of Gloria then included now Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, who went along with the Gloria majority..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101006com2.html

US, Europe face specter of Mumbai-style attack focus 10/06/2010

US, Europe face specter of Mumbai-style attack


WASHINGTON — A possible terror plot against European cities has confirmed longstanding fears among Western security services that al-Qaeda and its allies could try to recreate the 2008 onslaught on Mumbai.

European and US security officials, citing recent intelligence, say that al-Qaeda may be planning Mumbai-style attacks with heavily-armed gunmen, a tactic that inflicts mass carnage and terror without the risks associated with bomb-making.

“Compared to trying to smuggle explosives on to an airplane, this is much easier. You just drive to the target, get out and start acting,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer, told AFP.

“It’s a relatively simple idea. You get a handful of terrorists willing to commit mass murder and suicide and let them loose in an urban environment,” said Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has advised President Barack Obama..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101006com3.html

China’s Great Wall crumbles as tourism soars FEATURE 10/06/2010

China’s Great Wall crumbles as tourism soars


BADALING — Empty gin and whisky bottles, crumpled beer cans and tattered food boxes are piled up after a rave in China — perhaps not so unusual, except that the garbage is on the fabled Great Wall.

The filthy remains of the full-moon techno party, which drew several hundred foreigners to one of the sections of the wall at Badaling, about 60 kilometers (35 miles) from Beijing, left Colombian tourist Francisco Garcia in a sad mood.

“It’s very bad for the environment,” Garcia told AFP, summing up a major problem facing Chinese authorities — how to preserve the Unesco World Heritage site while allowing visitors to take advantage of its majestic beauty.

The sun rises, gently illuminating the impressive structure snaking over the hills. In a lookout tower, nine brightly-coloured tents have been set up for intrepid campers who spent the night in the early autumn chill..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101006com5.html

Your life is what you make it HE SAYS Aldrin Cardon 10/06/2010 It’s a matter of fre

Your life is what you make it

Aldrin Cardon
It’s a matter of free choice, this very controversial Reproductive Health bill that seems to have divided the nation after President Aquino sparked a debate with the Catholic Bishops, who threatened to excommunicate him but backtracked.

A “ceasefire’ is now in effect, meaning the church leaders will no longer issue detrimental statements and government, for its last word, saying it is standing pat on its support of family planning and co-related issues in the bill which deal unwanted pregnancies, post-abortion care, freedom to information and care, prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases and others.

Where this “ceasefire” would take us is anybody’s guess, but I believe government will no longer backtrack from its pushing the RH bill, especially with a president who had made his stance on birth control clear even when he was just campaigning for Malacañang before the last May polls.

Aquino won the presidency on a number of issues and promises, and even members of the Catholic church and its lay leaders have openly supported Ninoy and Cory’s only son, despite his clear stand on reproductive health, which he reiterated with the inclusion of Akbayan’s Risa Hontiveros, who has become the foremost face of the RH issue, in his senatorial ticket..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101006com6.html

Torn SHE SAYS Dinah S. Ventura 10/06/2010


Dinah S. Ventura
The Reproductive Health (RH) bill, formally known as House Bill 5043, or “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008,” is once more at the root of a maelstrom involving Church, State and everything in between.

I say “everything in between” because it sure feels like the citizens of the Philippines, whether or not Catholic, are caught in between an age-old tug of war between two powers that have never seen fit to meet halfway.

Religion and politics are polar opposites, and never the twain shall meet. But at what cost to the people who are members of a Church and are citizens of a nation? What of them who must daily balance on the beliefs of their religion while relying on their government for basic services and protection of human rights?

When it comes to the issue of reproductive health, the Church is adamant about the preservation of life and natural methods of family planning. The State, for its part, puts laws in place to declare the taking of a life as crime and to provide the people with the necessary information and services to promote a healthy family life and population control..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101006com7.html

Amending Epira and other initiatives C.R.O.S.S.R.O.A.D.S Jonathan De la Cruz 10/06/2010

Amending Epira and other initiatives

Jonathan De la Cruz
Here’s what Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras told the House committee on energy when confronted with the lengthening rotating brownouts in Mindanao and the ever increasing power rates across the board: “There are a number of solutions being worked out to ease the power situation in Mindanao. We should be able to do things soon. Quite apart from this, we are also urging the amendment of the Epira. We are nine years into the Epira implementation so it’s really about time that we do these changes. These companies are actually looking for signals such as that we are willing to look at the laws, look at the rules, look at the structures that we have today and adjust them to the realities that we are presently at..” So, if you are from Mindanao or you are a lowly employee staring at monthly increases in your electric bill will you be assuaged by these words of comfort? I don’t think so. In fact, you may even raise a finger and ask what is really in store for us campesinos as we race toward the third decade of this century.

As far as Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez is concerned he is aware of only one solution for Mindanao now in the pipeline — a 150 MW coal fired plant being put up by the German firm Stetyer. This is on top of the plant it is now operating inside the Phividec complex in Tagoloan. The rest are mere face lifts of existing facilities including those being worked out for the transmission lines and sub stations some of which need to be upgraded already. Which is why Almendras’ advice for the Epira’s amendment may be a step in the right direction — but how soon the needed facilities and at how much is the question..... MORE
SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20101006com4.html

Glitches, blunders, errors, failure marked 2010 polls — CenPeg By Charlie V. Manalo 10/06/2010

Glitches, blunders, errors, failure marked 2010 polls — CenPeg

By Charlie V. Manalo 10/06/2010

Despite a Supreme Court ruling ordering the Commission on Elections to release to several groups involved in checking on the integrity of the automated election system adopted by the Comelec on May 10, 2010, the source code and other pertinent documents for their testing purposes, the poll body has still not done so, and will likely be cited in contempt by the high court.

Despite the absence of the source code and other documents at the Post Election Summit (PES) organized by the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPeg) yesterday at Club Filipino in San Juan, Professor Felix Muga pointed to a high incidence of technical glitches and hitches, blunders, voting procedural errors, and other operational failures throughout the country during the May 10, 2010 automated elections, citing among other things the: (a) Precinct Count Optical Scan malfunctioning, breakdowns as shown in many precinct incidents across the country, with the late deliveries, malfunction and shutdowns, unreliable back-up batteries, and equipment shortage marred the disposition and operation of PCOS machines, thus causing delays in the opening of voting, counting, and thewhole election day process itself;

(b) Defective compact flash cards. The delays in the delivery of reconfigured CF cards (in some cases, absence or loss of the memory cards) and using defective memory cards figured in the high-incidence reports, delaying Final Testing and Sealing (FTS) and voting, or absence of FTS. A high percentage of CF cards being brought manually to canvassing, and precincts resorting to manual voting were also reported. In many cases, this problem also resulted in failure of elections or in electoral protests involving the manipulation of CF cards; (c) Use of unofficial thermal Paper; (d) Failure to verify the authenticity of ballots as provided by law with the non-use of UV scanners by a significant number of precinct (Board of Election Inspectors (BEIs); (e) Irregularities in voting procedures & voter disenfranchisement; (f) Transmission snafus. The fact about extensive transmission glitches – not simply an isolated case – shows an unsound decision to enforce an election technology when the required telecommunication infrastructure is unreliable. The satellite contingency hit snags..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101006hed1.html

Ombudsman withdraws corruption case against Abalos 10/06/2010

Ombudsman withdraws corruption case against Abalos

Claiming it made a mistake in filing a corruption case against former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr., the Office of the Ombudsman yesterday granted the former Comelec chairman’s Motion to Withdraw Information as it withdrew the corruption case it filed three months ago against Abalos before the Mandaluyong City Metropolitan Trial Court.

Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro approved the filing of the information on Aug. 27, 2009 based on the recommen-dations of graft investigation and prosecution officer III Mary Rawnsle Lopez and Deputy Special Prosecutor Robert Kallos.

The information was filed at the Mandaluyong City MTC docket on June 9, 2010 and landed with the Branch 59 on June 15, 2010.

On Sept. 21, 2010 Prosecution Bureau IV acting director Rabendranath Uy and assistant special prosecutor III Ireneo Paldeng withdrew the case. Again, Casimiro approved the move..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101006hed2.html

Noy ready to bare revised IIRC report 10/06/2010

Noy ready to bare revised IIRC report

President Aquino is poised to divulge portions of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee report which he had withheld from the public today alongside the study conducted by his legal team in an effort to formally impose the corrective actions he wants implemented in relation to the Aug. 23 hostage crisis in line with the recommendations of the IIRC panel on the charges that would be filed against the personalties whom they have found liable for the hostage fiasco.

Aquino issued this statement in a quick chance interview he granted to reporters following his attendance at the 10th National Philippines Employment Service Office Congress in Tagaytay City yesterday. He earlier announced that he is likely to adopt most of the recommendations submitted to him by the IIRC after its three-week fact-finding probe on the hostage tragedy in Quirino Grandstand.

“We’re coming out hopefully by tomorrow with the IIRC report and the specific charges that would be filed against the individuals involved. All those, more or less, (are) in line with the recommendations,” he said.
Malacañang, for its part, assured the public that the administrative and criminal charges meted the officials and individuals held liable for the incident will hold up in court once these are properly filed before the appropriate venue,.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101006hed3.html

Military modernization gets paltry P5B in DND budget By Angie M. Rosales 10/06/2010

Military modernization gets paltry P5B in DND budget

By Angie M. Rosales 10/06/2010

Less than five percent, or P5 billion, of the P104.6 billion budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) for 2011 will be allotted for the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) modernization program despite a crying need for the upgrade of AFP’s logistical requirements, the Senate found during a hearing yesterday on the DND budget for next year.

The DND, which is among the agencies that will receive a major share of the P1.6-trillion national budget, is
providing 80 percent of its appropriations for personnel services and 20 percent for capital outlay, maintenance, operations and other expenses (MOOE), including the P5 billion modernization fund.

Payment for pensioners and retirees also eat up the bulk of its budget but the number of supposed beneficiaries appear to be also questionable, committee chairman, Sen. Franklin Drilon told reporters in a briefing.

In the light of these revelations, approval of the DND’s proposed budget is likely to undergo intense scrutiny in the upper chamber..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101006hed5.html

Solon bats for 20% discounts on milk, diapers, medicines By Charlie V. Manalo 10/06/2010

Solon bats for 20% discounts on milk, diapers, medicines

By Charlie V. Manalo 10/06/2010

A lawmaker representing an anti-poverty party-list group has filed a bill seeking to give 20 percent discounts on milk, diaper and medicine products to an estimated 14 million solo parents — especially those with infants — and who are considered among the most “vulnerable” members of society.

In filing House Bill 3391, Rep. Carol Jayne Lopez of the You Against Corruption and Poverty (YACAP) party-list group sought for the giving of up to 20 percent discounts to solo parents purchasing milk or formula products, medicines and supplements, diapers and other necessary infant items for their babies.

“Being a solo parent doubles the responsibility of raising a child and it makes both solo parents and their children vulnerable to all of life’s hardships. As members of the society’s vulnerable protection groups, solo parents need all the help they can get from the government,” said Lopez, a single parent herself.

Although unverified estimates puts the number of solo parents to 50 percent of the population, a World Health Organization-funded study done by the Department of Health (DoH) and the University of the Philippines – National Institute for Health (UP-NIH) places the number of solo parents at 14-15 percent of estimated 94 million Filipinos..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/nation/20101006nat5.html

Jinggoy slams politically motivated report on Erap’s ‘Log Cabin’ 10/06/2010

Jinggoy slams politically motivated report on Erap’s ‘Log Cabin’

Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada yesterday denounced reports attributing ownership to his father, former President Joseph Estrada, a property at Camp John Hay in Baguio City now up for bidding by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).

The senator took the floor to condemn what he claimed was another apparent politically motivated move to besmirch the former leader.

“The manner in which (former) President Estrada’s name was bannered in this piece was unfair, uncalled for, and quite malicious. It was obviously done to create theimpression that he owns the property. And since the newspaper in question is readily available anywhere and likewise has an online edition, the general public may unwittingly be led to believe this fallacy. Questions may arise on the source of funds used for the purchase of this very expensive piece of real estate, especially from my father’s detractors – the few of them who remain, as their numbers have been reduced drastically over the years,” Senator Estrada said in a privilege speech.
.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101006hed6.html

Low rating on Noynoy blamed on ‘NPA’ execs By Angie M. Rosales 10/06/2010

Low rating on Noynoy blamed on ‘NPA’ execs

By Angie M. Rosales 10/06/2010

The poor rating the Senate gave President Aquino in his first 100 days should be blamed on his advisers and other Malacañang officials, who are non-performing assets (NPAs), Sen. Joker Arroyo said yesterday.
“His staff, his ministers have not done him good. They’re inadequate. And their performance issue, undesirable,” Arroyo told reporters.

Arroyo said he disagreed with the assessment made by his peers in the Senate who mostly gave Aquino a six to seven rating out of a perfect 10 saying the President deserves a higher grade because the enormous trust and faith the people bestowed on him remains steadfast and unwavering.

“The very important fact here is that despite all the shortcomings of his ministers, the President has been able to maintain people’s faith and confidence in him. That is the test of leadership, when you’ll able to maintain the faith of the people,” he said..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20101006hed7.html

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